“A deer can run and jump too, but I wouldn’t put him on a basketball court.” – Charles Barkley
“I was 10-2 yesterday… 10-3 I think.”- Charles Barkley
“There were 16 games yesterday.” – Ernie Johnson
March madness. Let me begin with what I believe is the highlight of this year’s NCAA tournament so far <which is part of the issue I guess>.
I know I am probably in a minority but adding Charles Barkley to the madness was brilliant.
He doesn’t follow college basketball but he knows basketball.
And he knows the every man’s perspective on college basketball.
He doesn’t go into stats and some meaningless analytical drivel … he just … well … talks. And among the really smart insightful stuff he says incredibly wacky fun stuff.
They aren’t paying him enough.
Beyond that. Something seems to be missing this year. And that is my theme as I outline how I am doing versus my enlightened predictions a couple weeks ago.
First. Let me begin by saying I am consistent.
If I were to take the last 10 years of brackets I have filled out I would say I would have won every year … if you only judged me on one half of the bracket. I cannot figure out why but almost every year I go gangbusters on one half (this year picking Kansas and Ohio state) and the other half my mother could have chosen better than I.
So. The good news (glass is half full good news)?
I didn’t have Kentucky or Louisville but had Kansas and Ohio state.
My bracket busters were certainly bracketbusters (UConn and Duke losing early).
And if you had taken my advice on picking against the “states” you would have been fine in the end. Oh. Damn. Ohio State. But. Ohio could have <should have> won their game.
Whats missing in this year’s Madness that kind of make it more like mudness.
I predicted no number one seeds in the final four. I got awful close (only one 1 in). and you would imagine that not having your number one seeds making the final four would create some buzz & excitement. Well. Nope. Maybe a 1, 2 2’s and a 4 seed is too expected … I don’t know …but even one 1 doesn’t really make it exciting beyond the 4 schools in it.
This is kind of crazy when you think about it but I am not sure I have seen more missed layups at this level in my entire life. I am not going to suggest Baylor would have beaten Kentucky but there was a stretch where they could have put the squeeze on Kentucky and they missed like three layups in a row. Syracuse missed a bunch. Kansas could have put Carolina away early if they had made some of theirs. Ohio. Someone burn that game tape. No one on that team should watch the tape of the game they lost … make half of the missed layups they had and it wouldn’t have gone to overtime.
I don’t have any reason for this. No. I don’t think it’s because of the advent of the 3 point shot.
But it’s got to be something. Even high school kids make their layups.
Maybe this is a corollary to the layups but the live & die by the three’s mentality has gotten a little crazy. Because I have a tip to every coach out there (just in case all the best of the best read my blog) … you cannot ride three’s all the way to the title. There will be a game <or two> where they just won’t fall. And then you gotta do something else. And even in a game when they do fall (see Wisconsin against Syracuse) you gotta do something else.
Look. I get that a 3 gets you back in the game really really fast … but if you want to list the top 3 momentum killers I have to imagine a missed three, when you have a break away and no one is under the basket, is gonna be close to numero uno.
Note. The only exception is Jimmer Fredette & BYU.
Note followup. They lost also.
Michigan State, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina … all teams were missing a key player in the tournament. I am not sure I can remember a March madness when several of the best teams were missing a key player from what actually got them there into the madness.
I am not sure anything would have been different in the end (because they all lost games that the other team did what they needed to do to win) but it does make you think ‘what if.’
I am gonna miss Charles with college sports.
Everyone is so serious and then … well … there is Charles.
Right after a commercial to drive people to the new show Hardcore Pawn ?
“I know what I’m gonna watch tonight! Oh, sorry, wrong spelling… I saw four letters and got excited!” - Charles Barkley
Missing heroes … or … “the making of March Mudness”.
No Cinderella team (and, no, Rick Pitino will never qualify as a Cinderella). Only one overtime game <in ENTIRE tournament>. No heroes (like a Jimmer Fredette or a Kemba Walker last year). No one player one game heroics. No last second shots. No feel good story. No madness (except that one Friday).
And maybe it is because of all the other sports stuff … bountygate, tebow to NYC, or Tiger finaly winning and march madness is taking an unexpected backseat. Regardless. Its Mudness this year (unless you are a KY, OSU, Louisville or KU fan).
The Missing Final Pick.
Louisville figures out some way to beat Kentucky.
Ohio State beats Kansas.
And while I wouldn’t mind Louisville winning it all I just cannot see them doing it.
(note: these picks also semi-salvage my brackets)
Another Madness almost done.
And I hope you did better in your pool then I did.